When weather cooperates, this time of year is always good for taking care of spring yard clean up work that gets you some exercise and prevents a rush of yard work later in the season. It’s likely that most of us will be spending more time at home this spring due to health advisories related to the COVID-19 virus. Why not put this extra time to good use and get a jump on your spring yard clean up and preparation for months of outdoor enjoyment in the warmer weather? This might be the perfect year for you to tackle those DIY yard projects that you’ve been putting off due to a lack of time around home. And if you have kids around, you can find some fun ways to get the whole family involved and keep everyone occupied and healthy while they’re spending more time at home. There’s a lot to do so let’s get started!
Clean Up Debris
If you have a lawn, it’s important to get old leaves and other matter out of your lawn to prevent grass and plant diseases that can be caused by decaying grass clippings and leaves. Clear debris that has accumulated over the winter in your planter beds so you’re ready to plant.
Early spring is the time to prune fruit trees if you didn’t prune them over winter. It’s important to prune before buds start forming to optimize your crop. Pruning too late will stress the tree and that can impact your crop volume. You can also prune any shrubs that don’t bloom in the spring. While you’re pruning them, remove any deadwood that you come across. Spring-flowering shrubs bloom on the growth of the previous season and they should be pruned after their spring flowers fade. Cut back dead growth from perennial plants and ornamental grasses before new growth begins.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
Clean off your outdoor furniture so it’s ready for use. You’ll be glad you did on that first day you’re ready for a seat outside.
Repair Or Add Hardscaping
Look around your decks, patios, and walkways and check for signs of any repairs that might be necessary. Make sure walkways are free of hazards and there is secure footing everywhere. If you have loosely set patio stones that like to shift over the winter, adjust them where necessary so they don’t move when they’re stepped on. If you have considered adding new walkways, this time of year is perfect for that kind of work provided you don’t have any threats of frost. It’s also a lot easier working with heavy materials while it’s still cool, rather than in the heat of the late spring or summer.
Pulling weeds now is a lot easier during your spring yard clean up rather than later in the season after they have grown and multiplied. They can also become harder to pull out as the soil in many climates will dry and harden as the season progresses. As you see weeds, get them out by their roots sooner rather than later.
Get Trellaces And Planter Boxes Ready
If you were thinking about adding new trellaces or planter boxes, start building or purchasing them so they’re ready for use.
If the ground has thawed, you can plant some vegetables to have an early summer harvest. Some vegetable seeds germinate best in cool soil. If you’re not sure which vegetables are safe to start now, check with your local nursery for recommendations.
Turn Your Compost Pile
Make sure you turn your compost pile if it has been sitting neglected. If you thought about starting a compost pile but put it off because you didn’t have much time around home, this season is a good time to start one and maybe you’ll be surprised by how little time it takes. Looking for tips on starting a compost pile? Learn how to get started.
When your soil is dry enough to be worked with tools, planting areas can be top-dressed with compost or other organic additives to promote vigorous growth.
Mulch Planting Beds And Containers
Mulch can be added 2-4” deep evenly throughout planting areas to prevent weeds and retain moisture. if you live in a climate where a hard freeze is still a possibility, you can add some mulch lightly over any bulb shoots you may have.
Establish New Planting Bed Borders
Have you considered adding or changing the size or shape of a planting bed bordering a lawn? Try using a garden hose to establish the new border line until you have the size and shape you want, then cut your new border with a sharp metal edger.